Graphics, explainers and knowledgable coverage could help transient fans

Should we explain scrums on TV better?

By the end of Saturday, England managed to hold off Wales in frantic second half. But their match began with a series of incomplete scrums – it took 3m 14s for the first scrum sequence to be completed (with a penalty to Wales).

You could feel frustrations in the crowd at Twickenham. But beyond that, it is an awful lot of frankly dead time on television.

But what we know about Six Nations time specifically is that transient fans are tuning in. Not all of them will understand the objectives of the set-piece in the perfect world, let alone be able to pick apart what is going on minutes into a ‘contest’, as both sides complain that they don’t have the optimum conditions they would like to scrummage in.


So if we know this, would it be best to try and educate (and entertain) new or passing fans about the set-piece with graphics, animations or more on the screen at this point? Even if there was a prompt to access an app/channel to see such a thing, it could add an extra layers when resets are chewing up the clock.

Related: Uncontested scrum laws explained

Of course, we have also heard swathes of co-commentators chuckle about not knowing what goes on in the dark unknowns of the scrum. All too rarely do we get an explanation on any of it, let alone an informed critique of the athletes’ technique or the referee’s decision there. As one broadcaster has told Rugby World: “All elite rugby coverage needs a scrum expert who can articulate the ‘why’ on the broadcast.”

If it was desired, this could in turn be supported by graphics or animations.

So we want to know: Do you, the public, feel underserved at scrum time?

Let us know your thoughts by emailing or via our social channels.

Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.